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Injuries to eyeballs might make you want to squirm and cover your eyes, but these icky accidents and odd occurrences can also be illuminating.
Read on for a peek at some of the most interesting and unusual eyeball incidents that Live Science has covered over the years.
Squirming coilSlide 2 of 19
What one man in India thought was an odd shadow in his left eye turned out to be a live worm wriggling around.
Doctors were able to remove the slender worm, which they later identified as the parasite Loa loa, according to a report of the man's case, published in January 2016 in the journal BMJ Case Reports.
In the report, the critter was described as "a fairly long live worm moving around in a haphazard manner through the vitreous cavity," which is located toward the back of the eye, behind the lens and in front of the retina.
The man's job as a fruit vendor may have made him more susceptible to infection, as the parasite can be transmitted by fruit flies, the report said.Slide 3 of 19
Split open and meltSlide 4 of 19
Split open and melt
A 61-year-old woman experienced a strange side effect of her rheumatoid arthritis: a condition called "corneal melt," according to a 2014 report of the woman's case published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
The condition occurs when a person's immune system attacks the area of the eye next to the cornea, tearing the ocular tissue and allowing the iris, which sits behind the cornea, to "slip" out. (The cornea is the transparent layer of the eye that sits on top of the iris and the pupil.)
In the woman's case, both of her eyes were affected — a very rare occurrence, experts say.
Doctors can attempt to repair the eyes surgically, but that won't prevent the condition from happening again, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.Slide 5 of 19
"Protruding" featureSlide 6 of 19
Doctors in China spotted an odd feature in a woman's eyes: a raised, rippled ring of tissue encircling the irises of both eyes.
The ring, called a "protruding iris collarette," isn't actually linked to any vision problems. Instead, it's a variation of a normally flat part of the eye called the iris collarette. In the woman's case, the doctors found that her eyes were healthy and her vision was normal, according to the report of the woman's case, published in March 2017 in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Although the protruding features in this woman's case were particularly pronounced, the condition isn't as rare as it may seem, Dr. Andrea Thau, the former president of the American Optometric Association, who was not involved in the case report, told Live Science in March 2017. Generally, the raised ring of tissue isn't as prominent as the one seen in this case, Thau said.Slide 7 of 19
Limited diet leads to boy's vision lossSlide 8 of 19